The devil is in the details
Shirt tips
for every day of the week.
Why doesn’t a chain store shirt fit you? 


Another level of the shopping gallery is ahead of you. You are almost at the finish of this tiring shopping expedition! The door opens and you can enjoy the freedom ... The spell is broken! You suddenly remember that in addition to the new trousers you might need a shirt. You choose the nearest store and, like Superman, you set off on a mission! There is one goal: fast, hassle-free purchase.


You are heading for the men's department. After just a few minutes you are confidently making your way to the fitting room. You carry a bunch of shirts to the fitting room like the most precious trophies. But are they, in fact? Out of the five that caught your eye on the hanger: one has too short sleeves, another one too long, and the third has a far too loose collar, in the fourth one you cannot move freely once it is buttoned. The shirt number five, which came off the best of them, is eliminated. You pay €79.95 at the checkout and, just as you had planned, you are relieved to escape from the mall for some fresh air.


shutterstock_1234970632 (1)


Are you satisfied with your choice? Not really. At home, you notice that basically this shirt does not fit you well at all. Not to mention the fact that one of the buttons is hanging on the last thread. First of all, you're angry at your own absent-mindedness! You have not noticed that the collar is durably crumpled in one place, and it cannot be ironed back anymore. Only in the bright light at home do you see that the fabric is a bit see-through and it wrinkles terribly on your back. You are also surprised to discover that the shirt is too long - when tucked into the trousers it turns out to be very uncomfortable.


How could you not have noticed that? In the end, your inner Superman begins to feel sorry for his own figure and wonders why it is so out of size. After longer complaints you recall the timeless truth that can safely be applied to your situation: If something is good for everything, it is good for nothing! The fact which the mass-production sizing "experts" tend to forget. Clearly, the cuts are based on a silhouette of an ideal representative of a given size, yet each person is different. And if there are such garments, for which a perfect fit is not so important, so much for the shirt, the devil is in the details.



First - the fabric


The fabric is the most important thing you should pay attention to. Not only its nature, but also the quality. How can you recognize good fabric quality? After the density of the weave! High-end shirts have six to nine stitches. Those from chain stores have only four or five stitches for 1 cm seam (oh, yes - it's definitely too little). The way the shirt is going to lay depends on the fabric quality. It is also important, how it is going to be worn. We do not want to repeat the scenario in which after a few washes the shirt can be thrown out.




Second - the cut 


Custom fit, regular fit, slim fit - are the three most common terms which you will meet while shopping in the mall. And as you know what fuel your car needs, you have to be aware of the shape of your figure! Men with their stomach or chest peering out of the shirt spreading at buttons are a frequent phenomenon - and believe it or not - it does not look good. Slim fit is cut to fit the athletic silhouettes, and unfortunately it is usually proposed by the service to every customer. Custom fit and regular fit cuts are undervalued, which does not mean that they will solve every man's problems. On the one hand you can conceal a too distinct belly, on the other hand, other parts of the body are neglected and you are only a step away from looking bulbous! The principle is simple - the shirt should be as close to your body, as possible, and provide you freedom of movement at the same time.



Third - a split yoke 


How often did you feel that after a few washes the length of sleeves ceased to be ideal? If you're buying in a chain store, it is almost certain that over time the sleeves are going to stretch and cease to fit. This type of shirt very rarely has a split yoke, visible on the back of the neck. Sewn this way, it allows to cut the line of arms along the warp of the fabric, rather than diagonally, which prevents stretching of the material on the shoulders.



Fourth - the collar


You love to have everything buttoned up, don't you?  So, why do you forget about the fact during a quick fitting? Treat the collar, as if it was the biggest deal of your life. Make sure it fits the neck well, if it does not choke or is not too loose - which often happens with the ready-to-wear products. Even if manufacturers use double numbering: the size of the collar and the shirt itself. How to check if the collar is the right size? A simple test involves inserting one finger between the material and the neck. Just as in the case of beer foam two fingers are an ideal measure!



Let's summarize


The most important factors determining how your shirt fits are:


 - the quality of the fabric


 - the cut


 - a split yoke


 - the collar size



These are the most important, but unfortunately the most common and most underdeveloped elements that can be found in chain stores. Low price is the result of using a material with thin stitch and of poor quality. The limited choice of cuts is a natural result of the standardization of clothes. Whereas a split yoke and a perfectly fitted collar are details often disregarded by the customers. Even if you know what matters, it is hard to find the perfect model.


Deciding to buy a mass production shirt in one of the chain stores with reputation, you can be sure that the quality of the fabric and the art of sewing are going to be much better. Despite this, you still have no influence on its size. It is true that small adjustments can be made either in the shop or at a trusted tailor, but the final effects and the level of service may not be satisfactory. The same applies for the advisors. You can meet a qualified employee who will treat you professionally and concisely or a person unfamiliar with the topic, affirming that you look good in everything you choose. Do not think that a pretty person looks pretty in every clothing. Even a hunk like you can look unfavorably (in an unfitted shirt, of course ...)!


Buying shirts in the chain stores - those better or worse - is an art of compromise and the necessity to reconcile with the fact that they will never fit perfectly. Happy are those few men whose profiles are appropriate to the objectives of brands offering ready-to-wear products. However, if you have a custom body size (we know you're not an average mortal), you have to accept the fact that you will not find the perfect model on a hanger in the chain store. Then the best option is to invest in a tailor-made shirt.